Ten weeks after many companies had to close down and send employees into technical unemployment, they are now being asked to restart their operations with the promise of even state aid. The state of emergency has become a state of alert, and the challenge of reopening and continuing business is strongly linked to the evolution of the pandemic, but also to the actions that follow at the social, political, and fiscal level.
The pandemic causes changes in social and behavioral values
Yesterday’s economic normalcy understood as a convention guided by norms that regulate the relations between economic, social, or political actors was dynamited by this global event – the pandemic. The deviation from the norm makes possible, in this case, the change of social and behavioral values, of the cultural and economic ones. So companies have to take into account a much-changed context that forces many to pivot to new growth areas.
The opportunity of the new context depends on new skills in the companies’ teams
For companies, it may be an opportunity and even a need to build skills in which they would have liked to invest and did not, but which are now proving decisive. That is to be more digital, more focused on capitalizing on data, more open to accessing cloud solutions, more automated, with a better online presence, with more agile supply chains and operations, with variable cost structures and employees with training to cope with change.
A team well prepared and adapted to the new digital context leads to success
Today we see how a well-trained team at work can make a difference during the crisis. It is good for companies to go beyond the transactional relationship with employees to truly understand them. The way they manage the team, delegate, give feedback, and communicate with them will depend on productivity and the creation of a work environment that is inclusive and satisfying for employees. So a transfusion of skills and mentalities is needed.
Leadership now also includes remote influencing skills
Creating a work environment adapted to the new requirements will create trust and make the transition to a mixed, virtual, and physical way of working easier. By training leaders to manage employees remotely, companies can help staff who have never worked, or only occasionally, from home, adapt effectively to this new approach.
Supporting the departments that generate the fastest liquidity and profit
In response to market changes, planning for a phased return opens up the opportunity to analyze processes, move to a more agile operating model, and the flexibility of pivoting employees to the way they work from home. It is necessary to support those departments that generate the fastest liquidity and profit and to retrain their leaders to have skills adapted to the new context.
The focus must now be on focusing teams on the priorities of each business function such as finance and human resources. There is an opportunity to reduce the pressure on operations by digitizing and generating value (and) in the online environment.
It is necessary to identify skills that can be put together but also those that are missing, and these must be learned quickly. Operationally, a good solution is to convene the most competent employees to log in anytime and from anywhere and to meet customer requirements.
It is important to purchase IT solutions that give efficiency, but especially skills are needed for the team to know how to use them. Trained people are needed to respond positively to change, managers to manage the team remotely, leaders to coach with their colleagues.
Team members who know how to give feedback and communicate effectively are needed as are systems for organizing the transfer of knowledge between colleagues. Tomorrow’s company is at the crossroads of people and technology. Transforming the potential of the two components into value makes the difference.